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Forster's Tern - 31 December 2009

Forster's Tern at Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA
Though not a rare species in Allegheny County, this Forster's Tern was nonetheless one of the most surprising birds to appear here in recent memory... because it celebrated New Years Day right here in Pittsburgh. First appearing 30 December 2009, it stayed to at least 2 January 2010 and became just the second known Forster's Tern to appear in Pennsylvania in the month of January. The only other January record was of one in Presque Isle Bay 13 to 19 January 1991.
Usually when a rare bird appears on Pittsburgh's rivers in winter, one must struggle just to make barely-identifiable pictures of the thing, since rare birds generally appear in bad weather and have a knack for picking the wrong side of the river to sit on. Happily, that was not the case this time. These pictures were made before dark on 31 December... quite a bird with which to close out the year.

Canon 50D, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x, 1/320 sec at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 800, tripod

Canon 50D, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x, 1/250 sec at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 640, tripod

Canon 50D, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x, 1/250 sec at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 640, tripod

Unless explicitly indicated otherwise in the photo caption, all photos on this website were taken by and are 2003-2012 by Geoff Malosh. Unauthorized usage of these photographs for any purpose is strictly forbidden. If you are interested in using any photo for publication or if you are interested in purchasing a print, contact me at pomarine -AT- earthlink -DOT- net.